Australia's AMP mulls new bid for AXA unit

13th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Australia's AMP said Thursday it was considering making a new bid for rival financial services company AXA Asia Pacific after regulators quashed a takeover by National Australia Bank.

In December AMP teamed up with AXA's French parent AXA SA on a 12.85 billion dollar (11.49 billion US) offer that would involve dividing up AXA Asia Pacific, only to be muscled out by NAB's higher bid, which was later ruled out on competition grounds.

Executives said AMP was still considering whether to raise its offer for AXA Asia Pacific's Australian and New Zealand businesses, a deal that would leave AXA SA with its subsidiary's Asian operations.

"That's a decision we still need to work through," said chief executive Craig Dunn, adding that AMP was in "high-level" talks with AXA SA.

In April, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) blocked NAB's bid but did not oppose a takeover by AMP.

"We were pleased that the ACCC decided that competition in the Australian financial services sector would be best served by our proposal," Dunn said.

He added that the deal was attractive for AMP but added: "We've never said it's an absolute necessity."

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report --

© 2010 AFP

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